Orion Ensemble to stream and perform live concert

The acclaimed Orion Ensemble, known for longtime performances of chamber music in Geneva and now in Aurora, as well as Chicago and Evanston, will perform live in Chicago at 3 p.m. Saturday, May 22, and will livestream the concert.

The event takes place at PianoForte Studios at 1335 S. Michigan Ave. in Chicago.

The program will feature Quartet in E-flat Major for Violin, Viola, Cello and Piano, K. 493 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, a jubilant piece with subtle humor, hidden within great beauty. Mozart wrote this second of his two piano quartets in 1786, shortly after his comic opera “The Marriage of Figaro.” Because his publisher, Hoffmeister, recently had released Mozart from a contract to write multiple piano quartets, Mozart wrote this one just for the “fun” of it. Joining Orion for this work is frequent guest violist Stephen Boe.

Quartet in E-flat Major for Clarinet, Violin, Cello and Piano, Op. 1 by Walter Rabl (1873-1940) won the 23-year-old Austrian composer and pianist first prize in an important Viennese composition competition. Rabl caught the attention of the judges with his uncommon pairing of instruments and his skillful melodic writing. Adding to the young man’s good fortune was the fact that none other than Johannes Brahms had subsidized the award and paid out of his own pocket to make the premiere of the piece possible. Brahms further championed Rabl’s career by persuading his own publisher, Simrock, to print the work.

There are limited in-person tickets, available by advance purchase only by calling 630-628-9591 or by emailing info@orionensemble.org.

At PianoForte Studios, audience members must wear masks at all times. While family groups may sit together, different audience members/groups will be seated at least 6 feet apart. Extra masks and hand sanitizer will be available. All programming is subject to change.

The livestream will be available on Orion’s YouTube channel. Virtual access is free. Donations are welcome and can be made on Orion’s website. The YouTube channel will host a recording of the performance for a limited time.